Smart growth news – November 30

Beyond Sprawl: Gambling On Downtown Las Vegas
KPBS (Calif.), November 30, 2011
Like most Southwest cities, the Las Vegas growth model was to expand out, creating sprawling suburbs and quiet gated communities. But one trendsetting local business – the online shoe company, Zappos – thinks an urban setting would be a better fit for its employees and industry.

Cleveland Turns Uptown Into New Downtown
New York Times, November 29, 2011
Since 1950, when its population peaked at 914,808, Cleveland has steadily shed residents and jobs. In 2010, just 396,815 people lived within the city limits, almost 81,000 fewer than a decade before, and about the same number of people who lived in Cleveland in 1900…But in recent years Cleveland’s municipal government and its Regional Transit Authority  have rallied major employers, banks, foundations and developers around a central goal of rebuilding the city’s core according to the new urban market trends of the 21st century — health care, higher education, entertainment, good food, new housing and expanded mass transportation.

KC mayor develops priorities so progress can continue
Kansas City Star, November 29, 2011
Q: What can the city do to promote economic development on the East Side?
A: It’s hard to economically develop a place where people don’t feel safe…That has an impact on how people feel about things. It depresses property values. It makes businesses unwilling to invest in an area. It traps people who don’t have means to get out while others do. You perpetuate a demographic. The first thing is let’s make people safe. Let’s deal with the crumbling housing, foreclosed housing and infrastructure issues.

Downtown gets new start
The Tennessean, November 30, 2011
Four years after talks of a downtown Dickson revitalization began, the ribbon was cut on a project city officials and Main Street merchants hope will turn more people back toward the city’s one-time hub.

Downtown development plan in beginning stages
Star Tribune (Wyo.), November 30, 2011
“A strong downtown is vital to even the developments that’s on the east and west side because the downtown is the heart of the city,” he said. “I think we need to continue to make sure that we are doing the things to get the blood flow and get all of our extremities connected.”

Tampa hires firm to help create master plan for downtown, surrounding neighborhoods
St. Petersburg Times (Fla.), November 30, 2011
When finished, the plan is meant to cover the design guidelines, amenities and connections between downtown and areas like Ybor City, the Channel District, Tampa Heights and North Hyde Park. It “will lay out the guidelines, dictate development patterns and create the vision for what downtown Tampa and surrounding neighborhoods could be,” Buckhorn said.

WNY council to make pitch on funds for development
Buffalo News (N.Y.), November 30, 2011
“We’ve put a huge priority on the plan,” said Zemsky, who will be one of four representatives from the Western New York Regional Development Council making a pitch to a five-member advisory panel in Albany that has been hearing presentations all week from the state’s 10 economic development regions. “If we can create an environment where people want to live and work and visit, we can keep building on that,” he said.

Opinion and Editorial

Sprawl comes with a high price tag
Herald-Tribune (Fla.), November 29, 2011
Residential construction may have slowed, but before any city or county commissioners permit another subdivision, they should take a look at a new website.

Cargill-Redwood City water grab
The Daily Journal (Calif.), November 30, 2011
As Redwood City residents, I believe we need to opt for water conservation and smart growth, and reject the false lure of Cargill’s “growth water” for our city. The Cargill option would cause extreme ecological damage in our Bay wetlands and fiscal privation of our fellow communities in Kern County. The Cargill marsh sprawl model would destroy wetlands habitat and wrest water away from other California urban and rural water users. We can grow city and county tax revenue here with smart, vertical growth without inflicting local environmental damage and fiscal injury in Kern County.